Diabetic eye disease

Did You Know…

More than 23 million Americans age 18 and older have never had an eye exam! Most say they don’t think they have an eye problem when, in fact, many eye diseases don’t show symptoms in their early stages. 1

What to Expect for Your First Eye Exam

If you or your loved one are a new patient, you will need to fill out some paperwork to establish your patient record. If you would like to complete the forms in advance, the packet can be downloaded below under the appropriate exam. Please plan for a lengthy exam.  Eye Care Specialists attempts to perform all diagnostic tests and in-office treatment procedures on the day of an appointment in order to avoid the need for multiple visits.
Our physicians and staff look forward to meeting you and will take extra care in making sure all of your questions and eye care needs are met!

Comprehensive Eye Exam:

If you are being seen for a routine eye exam or cataract consultation, please plan for a one to two-hour visit, dependent upon the indicated scans, imaging, and measurements.

Three of our physicians see patients for general comprehensive eye care and cataract surgery: Dr. Brad Stuckenschneider in Poplar Bluff and Piedmont (download patient forms); Dr. Todd Lumsden in Cape Girardeau-Doctors’ Park and Perryville; Dr. John Kinder in Cape Girardeau-Doctors’ Park and Dexter.

Corneal Subspecialty Exam:

A corneal consultation typically requires one to two hours depending on indicated in-office scans, tests, and procedures.

Dr. Shawn Parker is our corneal and refractive specialist. He sees patients with complex corneal conditions and performs LASIK surgery in Cape Girardeau and sees cataract consultations and performs cataract surgery in Cape Girardeau and Marion. (download patient forms)

Retinal Subspecialty Exam:

Please plan for two to three hours for an exam with our retinal specialists. A driver is needed as dilation is required for each visit (see below for more details about dilation). Retinal exams often indicate an OCT or fluorescein angiogram to determine disease progression and treatment. If you or the patient is diabetic, it may be necessary to bring a snack to the appointment

Our three retinal specialists are: Dr. David Westrich in Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, and Paducah (download patient forms); Dr. Tatyana Metelitsina in Cape Girardeau, Poplar Bluff, and Carbondale (download patient forms); Dr. Kim Krummenacher in Cape Girardeau.

What Should I Bring to My Eye Exam?

We very much appreciate your diligence in arriving prepared for your eye exam to expedite check-in and help us maintain update-to-date information in your patient record. If you would like to complete any patient forms prior to arriving for your appointment, you can download them here.

We request you bring the following to each eye exam:

  • Your prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses
  • All medications including eye drops
  • A list of your physicians and their contact information
  • All pertinent medical records related to your eyes or vision, if available (including ophthalmic diagnostic test results, summary letters from other eye doctors, and x-rays, MRI, or CT scans)
  • Insurance cards and photo ID (driver’s license)
  • Referral or authorization forms if required by your insurance company
  • A driver if a dilated exam is anticipated
  • Dilation makes your eyes sensitive to light and results in blurred vision for several hours. Driving with dilated pupils is not safe or advisable. Most retinal exams do involve dilation.

Potential Testing at Your Eye Exam

All retinal patients will be dilated at each visit. Dependent upon your eye doctor’s initial findings or your eye condition, the following tests may be performed at your eye exam.

Dilation

Dilating drops enlarge the pupil so your doctor can use special instruments to see the inside of your eye, including the retina and optic nerve. It usually takes 20 to 30 minutes for the pupil to enlarge from the eyedrops. When your eyes are dilated, they are sensitive to light and near vision can be fuzzy. Depending on the strength of dilating drops used, these effects can last up to several hours. For these reasons, Eye Care Specialists recommends sunglasses and a driver for this exam.

OCT Imaging

As an ultrasound uses sound waves to capture images of bodily tissue, optical coherence tomography (OCT) uses light waves to take very high-resolution, cross-sectional images of the back of the eye. While your eyes are dilated, you’ll place your head on a chin rest while a light beam obtains the images. This diagnostic test allows your doctor to detect eye conditions such as glaucoma or determine the thickness of the macula and the presence of such things as macular edema, cystic changes, and hemorrhage or fluid leakage.

Fluorescein Angiogram

During this test, fluorescein sodium dye is injected into a vein in your arm. A camera, equipped with special filters that highlight the dye, takes rapid sequence photographs of the fluorescein as it circulates through the blood vessels of the retina. The dye will leak into or stain abnormal blood vessels. If there is damage to the lining underneath the retina, or the appearance of abnormal new blood vessels growing beneath the retina, their precise location can be seen. The test confirms a diagnosis and helps determine the best treatment options. Post-treatment angiograms help to determine the effectiveness of treatment.